Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 380
ROH tops off their 2018 with a review of the Women of Honor Division! Relive history as the WOH prepare for an even greater 2019!
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ROH entered a new era with the founding of the Women of Honor Division!
It was at Final Battle 2017 that the official announcement was given and a tournament to crown the inaugural WOH Champion began! The tournament ran from January 20th to April 7th of 2018, placing the finals at Supercard of Honor XII. The winner of the tournament would be the Ray of Sunshine from Japan’s Jersey Shore, Sumie Sakai!
The Women of Honor Division brought in many new faces to ROH.
Perhaps chief among them was the Aussie sensation, Tenille Dashwood! She would make her WOH in-ring debut alongside the Exotic Goddess, Mandy Leon, against Kelly Klein and the sinister Stacy Shadows at Honor Reigns Supreme 2018. And ROH TV gives us that match in its entirety!
Despite her own skills and having a talented partner, Kelly Klein would be disappointed and defeated. Tenille herself would have her 2018 cut short by a shoulder injury requiring surgery. Tenille knows the mystery assailant targeted her bad shoulder, and vows to be back for revenge on her way to the title. Who knocked Tenille out of the spotlight for their own benefit? When and where will Tenille get her chance to return the favor?
ROH relives some instant classic WOH moments.
We return from break to see the crucial moments in THE Women of Honor Championship crowning match, as seen at Final Battle as well as encored on ROH TV Episode 344. It was an incredible night not just for Sumie Sakai being crowned the inaugural WOH Champion, but for all of ROH to have truly entered their own Women’s Revolution. The WOH locker room celebrated with Sumie, except for Kelly Klein, who couldn’t get over another disappointing defeat. But Jenny Rose would cast some shade on Sumie’s Ray of Sunshine, as the American Joshi immediately wanted to be Sumie’s first challenger. The two have been long time friends, and Sumie was glad to accept the challenge.
Episode 349 would be when the two friendly rivals would have their title match. Jenny would make for a great first challenger to Sumie’s reign, but Sumie would retain and carry the belt forward. It would be at Honor United 2018 that Sumie would defend the title in Doncaster, and officially transform the title into the WOH World Championship. Sumie continued to show heart in every defense, and against other women’s champions. But her reign would end at 251 days, at Final Battle 2018 in a match against The Pretty Badass, Kelly Klein! This title is still in its infancy, where will it and the Women of Honor Division go in 2019?
The title isn’t the only bright spot in the WOH Division!
ROH’s partnership with Stardom has only grown stronger in 2018. A great example, which ROH TV airs in it’s entirety as the television main event, is the 8 Woman Tag crossover from Best in the World 2018! Sumie Sakai, Tenille Dashwood, Jenny Rose and Stardom’s Mayu Iwatani join forces against Kelly Klein and Oedo Tai, the trio of Kagetsu, Hana Kimura and “HZK” Hazuki! It was a great match won by Team Sakai, but nothing is over between her and Oedo Tai. With such strong bonds between ROH and Stardom, will both promotions bring all of Women’s Wrestling to a new level in 2019?
One last review episode to finish out all the review shows! I really like that ROH chose to have two to give an entire hour just to their new women’s division. Sumie Sakai was an incredible first champion, and her reign’s length will likely not be matched for some time. Kelly Klein is a great second champion, and her build was done so well, especially for a Heel. I’m not sure how likely it is for Sumie to get a rematch, and less sure if she’d get it back so soon. I’d imagine Kelly is going to hold that title for a few months, and perhaps it will tie into Tenille Dashwood’s story. Kelly could easily be named the attacker, as she wanted Tenille out of the way. The grudge match can also be for the title, and could easily go either way in my book.
I also like that like all the ROH Men’s Divisions, WOH has grown to work together with other women’s divisions. Stardom is the front runner just like NJPW is for the men, and we’ve had some great crossover matches. However, ROH has also let some stars slip through their fingers. Deonna Purrazzo is now signed with WWE via NXT and even NXT UK. The Virtuosa looked primed in her own right to be a WOH World Women’s Champion, but it would seem things changed. And as I said a couple weeks ago, the tag matches and even tag teams like the Twisted Sisterz appearing could potentially give us a WOH Tag Team Division and titles. ROH still has some flaws, but making progress in the Women’s Division would definitely get some good attention.